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Online Bible reading hits new high, American Bible Society says

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Here’s a revelation: A whopping 41 percent of Americans used the Internet to read the Bible in the past year.

According to the American Bible Society’s “State of the Bible 2013” survey, Americans are increasingly looking to digital devices to read the good book. The study revealed that 29 percent of Americans said they searched for Bible verses on smartphones, while 17 percent read the Bible on a Kindle or an iPad, according to the Washington Examiner.

“The data shows a continual shift to digital content. The number of Bible readers who use their smartphone or cell phone to search for Bible content has increased each year, with a 6 percent increase in the use of this format from 2012,” said the Society. “Use of Internet to find Bible content has also increased, up 4 percent from 2011.”

The survey of 2,083 households found that the most read and searched version of the Bible was the King James version, the Examiner said, with 38 percent preferring that over the New King James version, which just 14 percent prefer.

However, the report also found a decrease in Bible ownership: 92 percent of American households owned a physical copy of the book in 1993, while only 88 percent do today. That's still a tremendous number, of course; the decrease is likely more indicative of the increased access to scripture online than lessened interest.

"Bible," the Christian Scripture app from YouVersion, recently surpassed 100 million downloads in the App Store, placing it on equal grounds with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in terms of users, according to a recent Mashable report.

"The general idea is to leverage today's technology in a way that engages this generation," he tells Mashable.

According to the “State of the Bible” report, 15 percent of Americans have downloaded a Bible app on their smartphones.